Noting that the word "homosexuality" is never used in scripture, Myers and Scanzoni argue: "Nothing is said about homosexual orientation as understood through modern science, nor is anything said about the loving relationship of two same-sex persons who have covenanted to be life partners." Their conclusion: "It's important to keep those distinctions in mind when examining the small number of biblical passages commonly used in discussions of homosexuality." Referring to the key New Testament passages that condemn homosexuality, they claim that "many biblical scholars are convinced that these passages have nothing to do with homosexual orientation and committed homosexual relationships as we know them today."

Claims

The authors then go on to make several claims about the biblical texts concerning homosexual behavior. First, they argue that the Bible "has very little to say about same-sex sexual expression." Rather than condemning homosexual behavior per se, they insist that these biblical passages actually condemn "idolatry, lust, promiscuity, and exploitation." The bottom line: "Scripture does not speak to naturally disposed same-sex orientation, nor does it speak to loving, committed homosexual relationships."

The full shape of the argument offered by Myers and Scanzoni appears in the final chapters of their book. They argue that the acceptance of same-sex marriage would reduce risky sexual behaviors among homosexuals and that acceptance of same-sex marriage is mandated by the Christian concern for justice. Arguing that marriage has been transformed over previous centuries, Myers and Scanzoni simply assert that the acceptance and normalization of same-sex relationships is the next stage in the evolution of marriage as an institution.

In the end, psychology trumps theology. In the epilogue that concludes the book, Myers and Scanzoni cite the authority of the American Psychological Association in asserting that the denial of marriage to same-sex couples "reinforces and perpetuates the stigma historically associated with homosexuality." Thus, the psychological argument now common to our therapeutic culture takes precedence over the biblical condemnations of homosexual behavior. The biblical authors are corrected by the ideological constructs of modern psychology and the institution of marriage is transformed from its objective basis in creation to an evolutionary model rooted in social development.

"Today's marriage war is a clash of those rightly concerned about marriage and the well-being of children, versus those eager to encourage committed bonds and associated rights for gays and lesbians. Might it be possible to say that both are right, and thus for conservatives to get their juice and liberals their peel?," the authors ask. The answer to that question is a certain "no." What Myers and Scanzoni propose is nothing less than full legal recognition of same-sex relationships as equal to heterosexual marriage. Those committed to a biblical concept of sexuality cannot accept same-sex marriage as a way of supposedly saving and preserving the institution for the future.

We owe Myers and Scanzoni this much--their book offers positive proof that what drives proponents of same-sex marriage is a psychological worldview that is directly at odds with the worldview of the Bible. For that reason alone, this book should be taken seriously.


R. Albert Mohler, Jr. is president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. For more articles and resources by Dr. Mohler, and for information on The Albert Mohler Program, a daily national radio program broadcast on the Salem Radio Network, go to www.albertmohler.com. For information on The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, go to www.sbts.edu. Send feedback to mail@albertmohler.com.

See also the most recent entries on Dr. Mohler's Blog.